Winners of special business awards to mark the 20th anniversary of enterprise agency Erewash Partnership have been revealed.
The awards were presented on Friday at a glittering dinner at Trent College, Long Eaton, by entrepreneur and television personality Saira Khan.
More than 200 guests attended,including the Lord Lieutenant of Derbyshire, William Tucker, and the Mayor of Erewash, Councillor Kewal Singh Atwal.
Reflecting on the years, chairman Simon Woods said that the Partnership’s record for helping business start-ups was second to none. It had been responsible for more than a thousand, many of which had grown into successful businesses, including nationally recognised brands.
The combined vision and excellent working relationship between the Partnership, Erewash Borough Council, business partners and sponsors on projects meant that the Partnership had been able to survive, prosper and provide support to the local business community.
Success had been down to people he said, handing over a gift to chief executive Ian Viles, who had been at the helm from day one. “His vision, enthusiasm and commitment have been infectious to the team at Erewash, to the board and to the 420 companies that are our members.”
He also credited those who had been members for 20 years – Derby College, Excel Office Equipment, Mabe Allen, Robinsons solicitors, Rodgers Leask, Saint-Gobain, Stanton Bonna and TecQuipment.
Senior Atlas Composites, of Ilkeston, which manufactures composites for various sectors, including motor sport, aerospace, defence, and satellite communications, won one of the five categories and was finalist in two others.
Managing director Shaun Moloney crowned the evening by winning the Geoffrey Nicholls Award for Outstanding Achievement, named after a former Partnership chairman who also chaired both Stanton Ironworks and Stanton Bonna.
Shaun said: “The Partnership was a great help when we joined in 1997 soon after setting up, and has continued ever since.
“It’s great to be recognised for the capabilities with the team of 74 at Atlas and our ‘can do’ attitude. I’m delighted for the company to have been a finalist in two other categories as well.
“I was stunned and proud to be the winner of the Geoff Nicholls Award. I did my craft apprenticeship at Stanton where Geoff was eventually the chairman so to receive this award was extremely special for me.”
Bluebell Dairy, which opened in 2008, won the small business award. Director Rosemary Brown said that with falling milk prices threatening their farm’s viability the family decided to set up an ice cream business using the milk. This has expanded to a tea room and visitor attraction with a focus on rural education. The Prince of Wales famously visited in 2011.
Rosemary said: “In Erewash there are a lot of small businesses, mainly in manufacturing, so for us to win this prestigious award is a real boost.
“This is a 24/7 business with the whole family involved as well as an average of 22 employees both full and part-time. The wholesale side of the ice cream business has grown immensely and has overtaken on-site sales.”
Manufacturing Excellence Award – sponsored by TecQuipment
- Winner: Senior Atlas Composites
- Finalists: Harlequin BPI, Incite Interiors .
Small Business Award – sponsored by Derwent Analytics
- Winner: Bluebell Dairy
- Finalists: FC Laser, Upskill Assessment & Training
Innovation Award – sponsored by The University of Derby
- Winner: Harlequin BPI .
- Finalists: Senior Atlas Composites, Trent Lock Golf & Country Club
Community Commitment Award – sponsored by Erewash Borough Council
- Joint Winners: Ron Brooks, Home-Start Erewash
- Finalists: Community Concern Erewash, Treetops Hospice
Investment in Education & Training Award – sponsored by Derby College
- Winner: TecQuipment
- Finalists: Senior Atlas Composites, Breadsall Priory Marriott Hotel & Country Club
The Geoffrey Nicholls Award for Outstanding Achievement – sponsored by Saint-Gobain PAM
Winner: Shaun Moloney – Senior Atlas Composites